' "You don't need to ask that"
"The colonel sold off all hl& ham
stuff, the chickens among them.
There's a poor, witless hen the pur
chasers wouldn't take. They said it
was crazy and would annoy lie other
layers. They've left the homeless
thing behind Wotft you take care of
''I will," promised Gregory, "and
think of what a kind-learted woman
you are every flme I look at it.
Gregory located the lone chick on
its roost, found a bag, said goodbye
to Susan and took his prize home
The keeper of the village general
store was just getting ready to put
up the shutters for 'the night when
Gregory rushed info the place in high
excitement. He earned a covered box
in one hand
"Hello!" hailed the storekeeper,
"going to move?"
"Pretty nigh "that, Silas," replied
Gregory. See here, I want a little
accommodation pf you."
"What IS it, Gregory9"
"I want tb borrow twenty-five dol
lars. Eh! Don't want to loan It'"
queried Gregory, as his friend shook
his head dubiously.
"It isn't the money, Gregory. You
cati have fifty or even a hundred, and
Welcome to it. I was, only thinking
that I hope ybu aren't going to make
some foolish investment again, like
that on well you discovered where a
kerosene can had tipped over, or the
flying machine inventor who nearly
killed both of you "
"I'm all right this time," announc
ed Gregory with a chuckle of surety.
The storekeeper proceeded tb his
old iron box of a safe. Gregory be
came immersed in reading the glar
ing poster on the wall of a circus ex
hibiting fifty miles away. It showed
for four days, and this was the last
"Just In time," he said to himself.
"Thank ybu, Silas, I'll pay you back
all right," he added aloud. "May he
away from t6wn for a speU. Got to
catch the midnight train. So long."
Cheerily Gregqry put the moneyoflr
away. GaHy he waved the covered, rfp
box. It contained the lone hen Susan
had asked him to care for.
There was great gossip as to the 1o
mysterious departure of Gregory. At
the end of two weeks, however, the
storekeeper received a draft for his.,
money. That same day Susan. was9fl.t
handed a registered parcel by the, ,
postman. Inclosed was a beat gold tli
breast-pin. On the card were thesa
words: "June is the month of brides, ,6
roses, song-birds, sunshine."
A month later, from another city OT
came a five-pound box of chocolates. wi
Its cover bore the legend, "I make ita3
January mistletoe, merry sleigh7 .
"I declare," Baid Susan to Tier sis-?w.
ter, "I can't understand all this ex-
travagance and mystery, I'd rather
have Gregory back with nothing than
have him away, maybe in,all sorts of
bother and hard work. Poor fellow! 1 n
drove mm away, ana busan dis-;
solved In tears
- A week later there came a letter.,
"Dear Sweetheart Susan," It read,
"I've ordered that farm outfit and I'm
coming home. Get ready to begin -,
that life partnership this faU beau- ,
tiful sunsets, harvests and all'' aJ
Susan gave a scream of delight as -
she opened the door one morning and
found Gregory on the doorstep. He T
was dressed in a neatly-fitting Buitj-r.
he wore a wett-trimmed mustache. .-,
Confidence and opulence were sug- L
gested by his bearing. Love, too his j
loyal eyes told that as he boldly klss-,,
ed Susan. p
"Gregory," was her first word asg
they were seated on the sofa, "whatj g
doesit all mean' Did some one leave
you a fortune?" B
"Better than that," repUed Gregory i
buoyantly "a chance to earn every g
dollar I've got It was the chicken,
"What chicken?" asked Susan, nJ i
"The one you asked me to care for.
Susan, that was a wonderful i owL No $$
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